As discussed in Part 1, commercial building networks are becoming increasingly integrated with all aspects of an enterprise, and the physical layer is becoming a bigger target for cybercrime. Part 2 will discuss Recommendations for Implementation in the following topics below.
Monitoring & Detection
Automated Infrastructure Management (AIM) systems have the capability of real-time monitoring and mapping of authorized or unauthorized changes to the physical layer. Intelligent cabling, connectors, and patch panels allow automatic detection and recording of changes. IT personnel can be alerted to unauthorized connections, such as when an intruder’s laptop plugs into their company’s network. Moreover, AIM and intrusion detection systems can work together to identify and communicate the exact location of an intrusion.
The WPA2 security protocol of a Wi-Fi system is vulnerable to exploitation because of unsecured handshakes between WPA2 access points, which can let intruders breach encrypted connections. Fortunately, the more secure WPA3 is now widely available. In September 2020, the new and more robust 802.11ax Wi-Fi standard is anticipated to become an official IEEE specification.
Increased connectivity in smart buildings and facilities will enable networks of IP security cameras and occupancy sensors for intruder detection. Structured cabling infrastructure that has been well planned will allow PoE (Power over Ethernet) devices to be installed in many locations, providing optimal coverage and enhanced security.
Powered Fiber & PoE
Networks featuring powered fiber or PoE will be able to use switches for powering connected devices. Their power supplies will usually be backed up by UPS generators and batteries. A centralized power configuration generally results in increased resiliency and security. If a power outage affects a building or facility with this feature, the AIM system and each security device that is connected will continue functioning.
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